Sun, Jun 13, 2004 - Page 1 News List

KMT grassroots tell Lien to get to work

`STOP FOOLING AROUND' KMT Chairman Lien Chan was yesterday told by supporters in Keelung to uphold party discipline and start focusing on the legislative elections

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A number of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) grassroots supporters in Keelung yesterday voiced their disapproval of the party's pro-localization faction, suggesting KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) take action to uphold party discipline.

"There are `green' wolves in `blue' sheeps' clothing who publicly and vocally oppose the party and support the A-bian (阿扁) administration," said grassroots KMT supporter Ho Sheng-jung (何聖隆).

In Taiwan's political spectrum, "blue" refers to the KMT and its political allies, the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party, while "green" refers to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

"I think the party ought to take disciplinary action on this issue," said Ho, who made the remarks during Lien's visit yesterday with KMT supporters and representatives in Keelung, where Lien made his first stop on his nationwide post-election "thanksgiving tour."

In response to Ho's comments, Lien said that the party needs people with different viewpoints.

"The party today does not need `happy sparrows' to sing words of praise," said Lien at the forum, accompanied by KMT Vice Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and party Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正). "What we need are woodpeckers to peck out the worms and tell the truth, even if the truth might be unpleasant," Lien said.

Given that the "thanksgiving tour" was designed to also floor views from grassroots party members, the number of participants at the event yesterday were not shy in expressing their opinions, with some calling on both the KMT and the PFP to "stop fooling around and to focus on the year-end legislative elections." Others urged the party to step up internal reforms, suggesting the relocation of the KMT headquarters and removing the word "Chinese" from the party's name after its merger with the PFP.

After listening to these views, Lien in his speech claimed that the March 20 election was "unfair" and accused the DPP administration of manipulating ethnic issues.

"I would say that Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his administration's biggest accomplishment so far is to have molded Taiwan into a society that is characterized by sharp divisions and confrontations," Lien said.

Lien then stressed the need for the opposition parties to remain united.

"Not only does the KMT itself need to stay united," Lien said. "The KMT, the PFP, the New Party and even independents should all stand up, come together and take steps toward merging to form a united force."

"The opposition force should not act like a pile of loose sand, because disunity between the opposition forces serves the DPP's cause," he said.

Ma also briefed the audience on the party's plan to merge with the PFP, while Lin explained the findings of the March 20 election ballots judicial recount.

Later in the afternoon, Lien took his "thanksgiving tour" to Taoyuan, accompanied by KMT vice chairmen Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Lien is slated to take his "thanksgiving tour" to Ilan County on Thursday and Taipei County and Hsinchu County on Friday. He is scheduled to visit Hsinchu City and Miaoli County on Saturday and Hualien and Taitung on Sunday.

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